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Top Gourmet Mini Tours - Cagliari and the West Coast
4 days - 3 nights

The historic Cagliari, Costa Verde, and West Coast

In ancient times, Cagliari was an obvious choice for the powerful nations wantingto control the important seaways and mining resources of this strategic island. Now, it is a bustling metropolis with every modern convenience and a grand tradition of culture, music, and food. The city was ruled by many different powers from around the world and every one left its own imprint on the architecture, the language, and the cuisine. Castello, the old walled center stands guard over the city and the harbor below.

Cagliari is full of history, sights, and more importantly, full of life. There is always something happening in the city be it an opera in the ancient Roman amphitheater, a jazz concert in the harbor, or just an evening at one of the towns many restaurants, trattorias, or clubs.

On your travel up the coast you will have the chance to see many sights, from historic centers to beautiful scenic vistas. This journeywill expose you to a varity of some of the freshest seafood always carefully prepared and wonderful stays in areas less known to tourists.

Day 1 - Cagliari
Arrival and Dinner

After arriving in Cagliari either at the airport or the nearby ferry terminal you will check into your hotel and get ready to explore the city.

Although Cagliari is the largest city on the island it still holds onto its small-town feel. Broken into different districts, the city is very walkable and has an excellent public transportation system. Explore the Castello quarters which towers over the city and long ago was strategically important as evidenced by the remaining 13th century Pisan torres. Here, you will find many of the city's landmarks and an atmosphere that will take you back in time. Walk along the quiet cobblestone streets and visit the nearby archaeological and art museums.

Walk down the famous steps of the Bastione di San Remy and induldge yourself in a drink at the famous Antico Cafe, where the coffee and pastries are as beautiful as the classic decorations. Then, walk along via Garibaldi, a pedestrian street lined with shops where you can buy everything from a new bathing suit to a pair of Bruno Magli shoes. Explore on to Piazza Yenne and enjoy a delicious gelatto or a slize of pizza at the nearby establishments.

In the evening you will dine in one of Cagliari's traditional eateries where you can sample some of the classic seafood recipes that even non-seafood lovers will enjoy. After dinner, take a leisurely stroll before heading back to your hotel.

Day 2 - Piscinas
Caves, Mines, Wine and Sea

After breakfast, you will travel to Santadi with a visit of the spectacular Is Zuddas Grottoes. These impressive caves are carved from Cambrian limestone and the formations inside are truly impressive. There is a series of rooms, including one where they have held Christmas midnight mass for several years.

After exploring the caves you will visit one of the local wineries, like the Cantina Sociale di Santadi, where you will sample some of their noted products like their Carignano, Monica or Vermentino.

Continue on to a delicious lunch in a noted restaurant in the area after which you will travel along the coast and the ancient mining areas. Sardinia was an important producer of metals such as silver and lead in ancient times and there are many remains of such spectacular sights as Roman mines, still clearly visable and truly unique.

After enjoying the splendid scenery you will arrive at your hotel in the beautiful Piscinis area. This area has recently become popular with some of the world's biggest stars for its peace and seclusion along the dunes on the west coast. You will stay in a unique and special hotel where you will enjoy a fine evening meal and maybe later a stroll on the beach.

Day 3 - Terralba and Oristano
Wine and the Sea

After breakfast in your hotel you will continue on to the wine cellars in Terralba, home to wines produced from the Nuragus and Vermentino varieties.

The Nuragus is one of the oldest wines on the island, dating back to its arrival with the Phoenicians in 1200 BC. It is a hardy grape that flourishes in the dry soil and seems to excel when other grapes decline. The Vermentino is one of the most-noted wines from the island and has recently been given high acclaim among experts even being called "the wine of the new millenium."

Then, you will finsh the day a short distance away in Oristano, home of the famous 'Saritiglia' one of the biggest celebrations on the island. Enjoy a fine meal and overnight in one of its best hotels.


Day 4 - Tharros, Sinis & Serdiana
Classic Civilizations to Classic Wines

After breakfast in your hotel, visit the ancient site of Tharros where the Phoencians probably put the first vines ashore more than 3,000 years ago. The plan of this ruin is clear and the foundations of many of the buildings as well as the city's sewer system are plain to see. As you look at it it will be clear why they chose this site as it has a beautiful vista of the sea and surrounding hills.

The nearby wine production cellar of Cabras, fine producer of Vernaccia wine, is next on the agenda. Here, sample some of this pleasant white that grows in the hills surrounding the blue sea below. You will lunch in a restaurant in Oristano before returning to the Cagliari area.

In the afternoon, depart for Cagliari with a stop at the nearby cellars in Serdiana which produce Nuragus, Vermentino, Cannonau and Monica.